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Child Protection Medical Assessment

Why is the medical necessary?

A medical examination has been requested as there have been concerns about the welfare of your child.

What happens at the Child Protection Medical?

  • The doctor, with attending social worker will see you and your child in the Children’s Outpatient’s department. The doctor may want to speak to the social worker alone at the beginning of the appointment.
  • The doctor will then have a discussion with you about your child's current health, past medical history and development, and will conduct an examination of your child.
  • The examination will be carried out by a children’s doctor (Paediatrician) who has experience in conducting such assessments
  • The doctor will explain to you and your child what will happen.
  • The entire assessment should take around 1 to 1½ hours, but may be longer if we need to do assessments for more than one child.

Discussions

As the doctor wants to know about the overall health of your child, you will be asked about:

  • Any illnesses or accidents your child has had
  • Their birth history
  • Development
  • Immunisations
  • Allergies
  • Any medication
  • Behaviour and progress at school
  • Their day to day health
  • Family history
  • Social history

What happens during the examination?

  • Your child will have a full physical examination which requires them to be fully undressed, in a respectful way. A chaperone will be present during the examination. If your child has any obvious injuries these will be noted, measured and drawn in the child’s records.
  • The doctor may request for photographs to be taken of any marks or injuries seen on the child during the examination
  • More specific investigations such as blood tests, scans or X-rays may need to be done. These will be explained and discussed with you.
  • Your child will also be told that the examination can be stopped at any time if they/ you wish.

What happens next?

  • The doctor will explain the findings of the assessment to you and your child (depending on your child’s age and understanding) as well as to the social worker.
  • The doctor will advise you if any further medical treatment is necessary.
  • The doctor will write a report which will be sent to your child's general practitioner, health visitor/school nurse, social worker and police officer (if police are involved).
  • A copy of the report will also be made available to you.

What happens if you refuse to let your child be examined?

  • Usually a child's parent is asked for consent for the examination. If consent is not given and if the social worker and/or police feel an examination is in your child's best interest, they may need to discuss this further with you.
  • Sometimes young people may be able to give their own consent and the doctor will decide if this is possible.

We appreciate that having a child protection medical can be stressful for the family. It is important that:

  • You understand what is happening.
  • You and your child's views are listened to.
  • If required, you will be advised on the best way you and your child can be supported during this time.

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